This year no NZ titles were in the running for gongs in Hong Kong during the Good Friday ceremony which rewarded winners in five award categories. For the last two years, NZ films have been awarded in the short film category, but none were selected this year.
Among the shorts, Michael Lennox’s Oscar-nominated Boogaloo and Graham and Simón Mesa Soto’s Palme d’Or winner Leidi both looked capable of taking podium spots, but in the end Rungano NYONI and Hamy RAMEZAN’s Listen left with the Firebird award.
Rolf de Heer’s Charlie’s Country was nominated for the SIGNIS Award, for “films that fully express social and humanitarian concerns, as well as spiritual and artistic values”. De Hee’s film missed out to LI Ruijun’s Tokyo-premiered River Road.
Peter Greenaway, who presented his recent Berlinale competition entry Eisenstein in Guanajuato was in town continuing a relationship with the HKIFF which spans several decades. His early shorts were presented by the festival in 1979. 20 years ago, he shot The Pillowbook in Hong Kong.
As well as presenting his most recent feature, Greenaway sat down for a conversation with festival director Roger Garcia and presented a masterclass.
The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF, 23 March – 6 April) ran as part of the Hong Kong Entertainment Expo. Other events include FILMART (23 – 26 March), the Hong Kong Asia Financing Forum (HAF, 23 – 25 March), and the Hong Kong Film Awards (22 April) . The Asian Film Awards (AFA), which the HKIFF originated, ran 25 March in Macau.
The HKIFF 2015 prize winners were:
Young Cinema Competition
Firebird Award: Sworn Virgin, directed by Laura BISPURI
Jury Prize: K, directed by D.E. Bulag and Emyr ap Richard
Special Mention: The Coffin, directed by XIN Yukun
Firebird Award: I am the People, directed by Anna ROUSSILLON
Jury Prize: A Young Patriot, directed by DU Haibin
Short Film Competition
Firebird Award: Listen, directed by Rungano NYONI and Hamy RAMEZAN
Jury Prize: A Blue Room, directed by Tomasz SIWINSKI
K, directed by D.E. Bulag and Emyr ap Richard
River Road, directed by LI Ruijun
Special Mention: Phoenix, directed by Christian PETZOLD